“It was the scariest thing in my life:” LAPD officer saves child who wasn't breathing

A Los Angeles Police Department officer jumped in to save a child who wasn't breathing earlier this week, and the whole scene was caught on bodycam video.

It happened Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the LAPD Harbor Division Station in San Pedro. According to the department, Officer Nick Ferara was meeting with a community member at the station front desk when a nearby parent began yelling for help. 

In Ferara's bodycam footage, you can see a man carrying the child in the direction of the bathroom. The officer follows them, and eventually takes the child into his own arms, and begins patting him on the back — a form of CPR for children.

"I don't know if he's breathing right now," Ferara is heard saying. The two then take the child to the bathroom, where the officer continues to pat the child on the back, accompanied by pleas of "Come on, breathe."

According to the child's father, he was chocking and having a seizure. The father told Officer Ferara that his child has had chronic seizures since birth. 

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"I picked up the baby and when I did, he started gasping for air but no air was going into the mouth, something was blocking it, and then he started going limp. And that’s when I got on my knee. Placed the baby on my knee, facing towards the ground, started hitting it in the back and then the baby stopped moving. So I put the child to my ear, heard the heart racing super-fast but couldn’t hear or feel lungs moving at all. I was terrified," Officer Ferara said during a press conference Thursday.  

As Officer Ferara gives the boy CPR, the parent helps splash water onto the child. They then put the boy on the ground, and officers can be heard saying "I think he's breathing."

The department said the child was taken to a local hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. 

Officer Ferara said it was the scariest moment of his life and his first time saving a life. 

"It was very tough mentally to deal with that. Even though everything worked out great, but then you start playing in your mind what if it didn’t and that’s what really scared me" he stated.  

Officer Ferara said annual CPR training helped him in this incident and encourages the public to learn CPR.

"I'm so happy for the family. I'm glad I was there to help you, it was a wonderful feeling."